NEPSAC Class B Preview
Last year’s defending champions, the Tilton School, return the dynamic duo of Alex Oriakhi and Jamal Coombs and add their BABC running mate Gerard Coleman. The “Big Three” is as lethal of a trio as you will find anywhere in the region, and perhaps even the country. But more than that, they are likely the top three players in the league hands down. Making matters even worse for the rest of the league is that this is a team that has plenty of depth as well. Consequently, Tilton begins the season with the “X” painted clearly on their backs as they are without question the program by which others are measured. Here’s a look at some of the other contenders:
Dave Vitale’s group has been to the class B championship game in both of the last two seasons. This year they’re hoping that depth, athleticism, and their trademark hard working approach to the game can get them over the hump. Look for junior point guard Corey Wright Jr. to be the team’s offensive catalyst while Noel Jones, Josh Vital, Chris Flores, and Justin Duvarney will all be asked to make major contributions.
Mike Hart’s squad may be young, but they’re talented. With newcomers Mike Carter-Williams, Michael Laplante, and Youri Dascy joining the returning core of Mike Accaoui, Russel Deremer, and Nyheem Sanders the group has plenty of fire power. And if they can play with the same perseverance throughout the year as they showed last weekend at the National Prep Showcase, then they will certainly be a team to be reckoned with.
Phil Pressey may be gone, but the tradition of excellence remains at Cushing Academy. So does head coach Barry Conors who will look to his youngsters to carry the team this year as sophomores Tyler Strange and James Kennedy and freshman Domonique Bull will all be asked to grow up quickly. Much like St. Andrew’s though, this is a team that has the pure talent to play with anyone.
Brimmer & May
Greg Kristof’s squad has jumped two conferences in as many years. But don’t count them out of the race this year as they feature one of the league’s top players in Kyle Casey as well as perhaps the region’s best shooter in Derek Retos. Eric Alleyne, Brendan Rollins, Brian Johnson, and Troy Robinson will also be important contributors.
After reaching the championship game of the 2006 class B tournament, Proctor has been noticeably absent from post-season play for the last two seasons. Don’t expect that trend to continue as Greg Makechnie has had an influx of talent from up north as four talented Canadians join the mix this season. Combine that with returners like Ben Bartoldus, Amir Tarif, and Matt Williams along with a sharp-shooting local post-graduate in Mike Stys and this squad has what it takes to be major players for the next few years.
KUA will rely on their inside out duo of Cam Sutton and Wouter Van Der Eng to lead the team this year. Sutton will not only anchor the team on the offensive end of the floor from the point guard position, but he will also be responsible for locking up the opposition’s leading perimeter scorer on a nightly basis. Van Der Eng will control the interior although his skill set allows him to attack defenses inside and out.
Others – Hebron Academy, Kents Hills, Tabor Academy, Phillips Academy, Thayer Academy, Vermont Academy
Stay Tuned Tomorrow as the New England Recruiting Report Will Preview the Newly Formed Western New England Conference